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Student Stories – Steph R

Student Stories 2020 – A series of interviews with Sewing School Students in their own words (5 of 5) – Steph makes a prom dress.

Do you remember the first garment you made?

Yes – I was 7 and wanted to make a dress. I used some old yellow brocaded curtain material and cut two rectangles which I hand stitched together with massive stitches and then sewed the side seams leaving a gap for my arms. I was very proud of it and wore it to my Grandma’s, Sorry I don’t have a photo.

What is your greatest sewing accomplishment to date?

It was a ballgown I made for my prom at University. I’d trawl through the vogue designer pages and look at all the catwalk dresses. I loved a long flowing blue ballgown so set about creating it myself. I still have the dress, not that it will fit me now…

Prom dress from university

What made you start lessons with Bagladybird?

I really enjoy sewing but always knew that I didn’t pay enough attention to sorting out the details. When I saw how much prom dresses are nowadays I decided that I would make Anna a dress for her prom. I didn’t want to fudge it so I came to Bagladybird to help me create a dress she would love. 

What have you learnt with Bagladybird?

When we first discussed the plans for the prom dress, you (Alison) suggested creating a pattern from scratch. This is something I would never have had the confidence to do before and I have really enjoyed learning how to reposition darts and reshape the pattern to develop my vision. I am now applying this to bought patterns and am finally able to make clothes for my shape rather than generic sizing.

What’s on your sewing table right now?

I am finishing off the Tara basic dress for my daughter in a blue rib fabric. I’m still wary of knits but with Alison in the background advising me I have managed to put in the neckline and only need to hem it. I have also cut out the Tara basics sweater in a tropical leaf print for myself. 

What’s next?

Yesterday I received a new order of fabric to make some pyjamas for my son for Christmas. I plan on using the step-by-step sewing directions from the monthly sew along for the Closet Core Carolyn pyjamas. But I have a pattern from the 1960’s that I will use. I also now have material for pyjamas for me, another Tara basic top. Plus 2 pencil skirts for my daughter. So I will be quite busy over the holidays I think.

Prom dress fabrics

What do you love about Bagladybird lessons?

The people I meet. I love the social side of the lessons. Sewing in a group meant that I learnt a lot just by listening to the advice Alison gave to the others. I realised that being self-taught there is very little I can’t do. But there are often better ways that deliver a more professional result. Whilst I don’t think to ask the question I found I learnt a lot from the questions everybody else asked. 

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